Taite's Story: You can help the best and brightest minds unlock the answers to curing brain tumours

Taite's Story: You can help the best and brightest minds unlock the answers to curing brain tumours

In Dr. Singh’s lab at McMaster University, Taite Boomer’s legacy is leading to real progress in helping brain tumour patients through research.

The 5-year relative survival rate for brain cancer is 25% compared to the overall relative survival rate of 63% for all cancers. Research is the only answer. Attracting the best and brightest young minds to brain tumour research is critical to finding the answers.

When Taite passed away in Edmonton from a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer, his family and friends created the Taite Boomer Brain Tumour Research Studentship in his memory. Thanks to their support, Thusyanth Vijaykumar has developed a passion for brain tumour research.

“I always wanted to work in healthcare. I was interested in cancer and I did have some interest in brain research because it is one of the most complex organs of the body. Once I got this Studentship and entered Dr. Singh’s lab, I felt like it was really meaningful to do this research.

“Without this Studentship I probably wouldn't have considered going into this field. Something like this can really make a difference for a young student.” …Thusyanth

Bringing young students into a brain tumour research lab is critical. Dr. Sheila Singh, a neurosurgeon and researcher, knows why bringing the best and brightest young minds to help accelerate progress in the research lab is so important.

“I want to breed future brain tumour scientists who are going to join the field and keep working to find a cure for brain tumours. That is the most rewarding part of my job, to take these young, enthusiastic kids and train them into fantastic scientists and then send them out into the community. With the current climate of restricted governmental funds, the funding for these Studentships is a lifeline.” …Dr. Singh

Lori and Ted, Taite’s mom and dad, and his girlfriend Katelyn, have worked very hard to raise money for brain tumour research. “Before Taite got sick I had never heard of anyone with a brain tumour. Now it’s amazing how many people are affected by it,” said Katelyn.

Lori feels strongly about giving students the chance to be part of research. “We can hopefully inspire them to want to continue in research. It’s all about having more money to help look for more information and new treatments to help patients like Taite.”

“Our 20-year-old son was a student, so it seemed to be a good fit to give money back to younger people. And because brain tumour research is so limited, the more young people we can attract to do research the better.” ….Lori

Thusyanth is grateful for the Studentship. “I feel like it is a stepping stone for me to enter the field. I feel inspired and it is like a driving force in me. I am planning to continue with graduate studies in brain tumour research.”

Please help to ensure that the best and brightest young minds like Thusyanth have the opportunity to work with outstanding researchers like Dr. Singh and find the passion to make an important impact on brain tumour research for patients.

One day, these young researchers will help find those elusive better treatments, and it will only happen because you helped to ensure that it would.

Each Studentship is a $10,000 commitment to two summers of intensive work in a brain tumour research lab. Please give as much as you can to be sure we can build brain tumour scientists for the future. With your help, and the help of our caring community, we can all continue to work hard to make an impact on brain tumour research.

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Story posted: October 2014

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